Tag Archives: writing a novel

There’s a Need for Large Print Books


 

Yesterday, I went to my local library to have something printed. Honestly, I could just buy myself a printer and not leave my house, but then I wouldn’t have the experiences I do at my local library. Plus, our local libraries need our support hence the reason why I prefer paying the library to use their copying machines. Not to mention, checking out a few books while I’m there.

I live in a small country town. Majority of the patrons I meet at my local library are elderly and retired individuals. I love to listen to the stories they share while they check out their books at the front desk.

One of the stories I listened in on included the lack of large print books. They told the librarian that they enjoy reading books, too, and that at their age, it is harder to see the print on regular paperback books.

As an author, I hadn’t put much thought into large print. My list of published titles consists mostly of ebooks. I do have two books that are paperback, Dana’s First Fish, Chaos: Supernatural Realms; one is for children and the other is for young adults.

As I prepare one of my recently published books, Rancher’s Daughter, for a paperback release, a thought came to me. I have a chance to broaden my readership if I also publish it in large print.

I had to look this one up and stumbled upon a website that I had visited a few times before. Joanna Penn is a wonderful author, who explains how to publish large print and how it is actually more popular than I realized. You can view her post here.

 

Advertisements

When Do You Find Time To Write?


writing on the road

Working on my next novel while running errands with my dad.

People still ask me how I find the time to write. To them, I’m quite a busy person.

“You’re a single mom with a special needs kiddo, you work full time, yet you have time to write and publish books? How do you do it?”

“Well, I make time,” I say with a shrug. “I love to write, so, I write.”

True, I have my hands completely full with my daughter. Being a special needs parent is a full-time job in itself, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’m often approached by aspiring authors telling me that they don’t have the time to write, yet they want to write and publish a book. If you want to be a writer, then be one. Don’t sit on the sidelines saying how you wish you could be one. Make it happen. Authors don’t find time to write, they make time.

Authors don’t find time to write, they make time.

I was going to college full-time, working part-time, volunteering, taking care of my daughter as a single mom, and helping my grandmother. In the middle of all that I had written and published three books; one of which was a novel.

I have been able to remove ‘attending classes, studying and doing homework’ off of my plate, but my plate is still full. Between IEP meetings (I’ve had 6 this year so far), meeting with someone from the school (a weekly event, if not daily), school events, afterschool events, daily life requirements of housework and errands, work (the main money-bringer), I still find thirty minutes to an hour, sometimes more, to write. If my daughter is at school and I’m off work, that’s plenty of time (8 hours, give or take time out for lunch) to write and get my errands and housework completed.

Being an author is a job.

Since starting my new job last year, I have had nothing but time to write, that I have made it my second job. Being an author is a job. You not only work on your next book, but you have to promote and market the work that you have published. How else are you going to earn an income from your work if no one knows it’s out there?

However, I tend to spend a lot of time writing than I do marketing. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. I’m writing more, which means there will be more published works out there. The more you have published, the more your work will be noticed. I had also decided not to market as much until I had more published works out there.

I’m not saying all of this to brag, honestly! I’m trying to encourage others to make the time. I once used to look at published authors, wishing that I, too, could write and publish a book. I decided to tell myself that I could.

I started writing my novel, Chaos when my daughter was a few months old. I kept pushing it aside as I lacked the motivation to continue. My grandmother became my cheerleader, in a way, urging me to keep going. She knew I wanted to be a published author. I’m glad I listened to her.

Now that she is no longer here, I find myself thinking about her and what she would say each time that I need that little boost of encouragement. Or, I see the pride in my daughter’s eyes when she takes my children’s picture book to school to show everyone that her mommy wrote it. That right there is all the motivation I need.

Mock Ebook Covers Helps With Motivation


For the past few months, I have been working on a novel that had me stopping now and then. It’s a mystery/thriller – murder, the FBI, a love interest. The idea sounded great in my head yet, I had trouble getting it to come out and onto paper. I pushed my novel aside, and then pulled up another writing project onto my computer and worked on it. I was able to write in spurts. My brain kept trying to focus on that one novel though.

I enlisted the help of a few co-workers. A few of them listened to me as I rambled on about this story I was writing. A few others added their two cents, which was enough to help me push aside my writer’s block.

Later that night, I typed up what I came up with, then stared at the scene after I was done. I re-read the story, hoping something new would come up, but as I read it, it seemed as if part of it wouldn’t make sense in the real world, and my book took place in the real world.

Once again, I pushed it aside and pulled up the other writing project, until I couldn’t write any more on it either.

Pushing my other writing project aside, I decided to try something new.

I read how one author creates her own book covers for inspiration. Though she never uses these covers on her books, as she hires a professional, her self made covers do serve a purpose.

She chooses the model, picks a title for her book, and then puts it all together in a mock photoshop software you can find for free on the internet. She then prints it out and hangs it near her computer for her to see while she writes. Once I read this, I was able to understand her methods. Sometimes it takes visual cues to help get the creative juices flowing.

I tried her method and found that it worked. Honestly, why didn’t I try this before? It wasn’t long that the words started to flow. I could visualize the story playing out as if it were a movie. I even went as far as creating boards on Pinterest; picking out my characters and locations to draw out inspiration.

All these methods have helped me write a better story.

I even went as far as coming up with a second book, but that’s just me, always thinking ahead. Soon the outline was coming into place and I was able to determine an ending.

Now it was time to fill in the story.

Check back to see how far along my story has gotten.

 

Drinking Coffee and Writing to Jimmy Buffett


breakfast and writing

Being an author with ADD is quite hard. I can’t focus on just one writing project. I talked to a few co-worker’s about a few of my writing projects that I was working on and they asked me how was it that I didn’t get them mixed up? I told them that it’s like my brain has many web browsers open and that I’m unable to shut all but one off.

It’s true, though, I do have anywhere from two to four writing projects going. For some, that’s bad, but for others, it’s just the way we are. In a way, I can finish two or more writing projects at the same time.

Last year, I set a goal for myself, publish 6 titles a year for 5 years. Last summer, I switched jobs and found myself having quite a lot of time, so it was easy to use up that time to write, to focus on every one of my writing projects that I had going. I would drop my daughter off at school and head home and write until it was time to pick her up. Before I knew it, I had written three novellas, two non-fiction books, and a short story.

I ended up publishing that short story and one of my novellas last year, as well as a novel that my editor had sent back to me earlier in the year. The other two novellas that I had finished, I had published earlier this year. As for those two non-fiction books, they are set to be published this summer.

Now, the thing about having so much time on my hands and having ADD is that I find myself wanting to play video games or watch Netflix. It wasn’t too hard to find myself losing my discipline. Though I would work on my writing projects, the word count wasn’t nearly as much as it used to be.

It was time to change it up. With my laptop and notebook in my bag, I stopped by my local coffee shop, ordered a breakfast sandwich and a coffee, and then plopped myself into one of their comfy chairs and started writing. It didn’t take me long to come up with over 1100 words. I know that isn’t enough to some, but it’s a start. I also didn’t stay but a few hours.

Since yesterday went so well, I found myself repeating the process; sitting at my local coffee shop with my laptop opened to one of my works-in-progress. Today’s music is much different as it was yesterday.  As I sat down, I plugged in my earbuds, hoping to find something on Youtube that I could write to. The coffee shop owner tells Alexa to shuffle Jimmy Buffett and Cheeseburger In Paradise immediately rings out through the speakers. I didn’t bother with my earbuds and Youtube as I found myself singing along to Jimmy Buffett, while my fingers clicked across the keyboard on my laptop.

Something about listening to Jimmy Buffett helps fuel the creative juices in so many ways for me. Maybe it’s that I wish I was on the beach somewhere instead of being landlocked. With Jimmy Buffett playing, I could picture myself sitting at one of my favorite places that I frequented when I lived near the beach years ago, writing as if I was living my dream; sitting on the beach, writing full-time.

Whatever helps, right?

What inspires you? What fuels your creativity?

Interested in checking out one of my books? Visit my webpage: www.twistedcrowpress.com

 

Sometimes Creativity Takes a Break


creative-cat

I often find my creativity taking a leave of absence when I’m in the middle of a writing project. I typically binge watch a TV series or spend some time at my local library looking for a good book or series, then curl up on the couch at home and read. Or, I choose a handful of books from Kindle Unlimited, filling up my Kindle. It isn’t long before my creative juices start flowing again.

For the past month, I had been working hard on three of my five works-in-progress. You’re probably thinking, “Wait a minute, you’re working on that many writing projects at the same time?” Well, yes, it’s pretty common among us writers to do that. I have ADD, so my brain can’t just focus on one thing as it’s all over the place. And being creative, I have so, so many ideas running rampant inside my head…

Anywho. I tend to get quite a bit of writing done this way. When the opportunity presents itself, why not take up on it?

Our minds need a break, just like our bodies. When we have a hard time focusing on something, it’s probably a sign that we need to take a break and let our batteries re-charge.

I often find myself stepping away from my writing. It gives me time to focus on other things. After a few days, or sometimes a week passes by, my creativity returns and I’m back to pounding out the words on the keyboard.

Preptober


It’s the first of October. For some, it’s simply that, another day in yet another month. But, for some, it’s the first day of Preptober – better known as the first day to begin preparing yourself for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – the month of November) to begin next month.

This will be my first year to participate in NaNoWriMo. College, mom duties, and life kept me extremely busy that I did not have the time to write as much on a daily basis, which is part of the challenge for NaNoWriMo. Now that I’ve graduated college, I have some time that I could use to actually write.

Today, I begin preparations on book two in my young adult fantasy fiction series. I know this time, it won’t take me 5 1/2 years to finish the first draft, another year before redoing the tense, then many more months revising, writing, and editing.

It’s a wonder I hadn’t driven my editor nuts these past few years. I mean, I had changed the manuscript from present tense, to past tense. Crazy, right? It seems to work though and in doing so, I had added almost twelve thousand more words.

Now my manuscript is finally finished and will be published very, very soon … can’t tell you exactly when … yet … but very soon.

Now that it is out of the way, I can begin book two and am using NaNoWriMo as a way to challenge myself into getting the first draft done a lot sooner than it had taken me on the first book.

For those of you are don’t know what NaNoWriMo is exactly, it’s where writers challenge themselves to write a novel within a month. The minimum word count is 50,000. However, some people exceed that amount and some people aren’t able to finish. The plan is to write at least 1,667 words a day in order to come up with 50,000 words in a month. I plan on writing as many words, but I am not going to stop there. Some are lucky enough to be picked up by a publishing company. Some find a literary agent. Some going on to self-publish.

Wishing the best of luck to all doing the NanoWriMo challenge this year!

Links where you may find me:

-Add me as your writing buddy on NaNo: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/jennifer-n-adams

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennifernadamsauthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferNAdams/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JenniferNAdams

The Next Big Thing


Jae at http://litandscribbles.wordpress.com told me about writing The Next Big Thing blog chain post. It is to answer a few questions about the book that I am currently working on. By doing this, it gives some sort of insight on what my book is about…hopefully. So, if you have a question that isn’t listed here, please feel free to ask it and I will try to the best of my ability to answer it for you.

Thank you Jae for the help and for the idea!!

What is the working title of your book?

Into the Realm of the Supernatural: Chaos This is the first book in a series.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I had a dream about it, then started writing the ideas down in a notebook and piecing them together. I think a lot of authors book ideas come from dreams, look at Stephen King.

As soon as I figured out how I wanted my story to begin, I start writing it. I use a large dry erase board to write down key information to help me write. Later I will add chapters that need attention on the dry erase board.

Whenever I am away from the computer I am always scribbling notes in my notebook. When I get home, I’ll type up my notes and piece the story together, adding to it as I go along.

What genre does your book fall under?

Young Adult Fantasy

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Usually authors don’t have a say in who plays whom. I would pick Channing Tatum as the role for the Sheriff James Bailey. I think he would play a good uncle role for Anya and Noelle. As for Noelle, I would pick, Jennifer Lawrence. You might remember her from the lead role as Katniss from the Hunger Games. Noelle, is an independent, athletic young woman. She’s an avid runner and a great role model for her younger sister Anya. For Anya, I would pick, Scout-Taylor Compton. Anya tries to be a good teenager, but sometimes trouble finds her. She has a love for classic movies and even sneaks out late at night to watch a good black and white film at the cinema.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

(I honestly couldn’t think of a one sentence synopsis, so I came up with two short paragraphs)

Not much goes on in the little farming town of Pratt, Arkansas.  At least that’s what most of the 282 people who live here think.  Noelle Bailey, a local high school graduate, is one of those people who believe that nothing out of the ordinary or abnormal exists, especially in Pratt.  However, she soon learns that she is part of the abnormal.

James, Noelle’s uncle and Pratt’s sheriff, is trying to solve a chain of murders as a secret from his past begins to unravel.  His two nieces, Noelle and Anya, quickly notice changes in themselves as they get caught up in the events that occur, surrounding his investigation.  One thing leads to another as a doorway to their future opens, pulling them inside.  To complicate matters, the FBI arrive and request James’ to help in the unsolved mysteries.  He soon discovers that he has a more important unsolved mystery requiring specifically his attention most of all.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will definitely use an agency. Self-publishing will be the last resort.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Almost three years. I’ll be starting on my second draft very soon.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I am not sure as most books are usually all vampires, or all werewolves, or all faeries, or a huge mix of all three. I don’t have any vampires in my book. I have a mix of mostly weres and shifters and a few faeries.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My Grandmother inspired me to keep working on this novel. I would put it down as I had to deal with real life and then she would ask if I was done with my book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I actually did my homework on particular things for the book; for example the sheriff’s job, Sheriff’s sub stations, forensics, types of hunting rifles, etc. I also used real towns, just renamed the businesses; I added a few buildings and rebuilt some old buildings that were once there, like the school. I kept most of the actual street names; though I added a few.

I find it important for the reader to see that the author knows what they’re writing about, instead of just adding words to a page.

Almost done with this semester


I have two more weeks left of this semester; I couldn’t be more elated for a much needed mental break. It’s tough being a writer and a college student at the same time. I’m looking forward to getting back into writing.

I’ve completed my first rough draft I’m certain. (my Young Adult novel/ manuscript) Now I know what really needs to be worked on. Hopefully it won’t take me nearly as long as it did to edit the first draft. I already have over 40K words, so adding more words is a bonus to me. It’s a young adult novel, so really anything over 40K is acceptable. If it were a novel the word count would have to be 100K. Since I only write young adult and children’s books I wouldn’t be worrying about writing that many words anyway. My time is already limited enough and it’s taken me three years just to write this one young adult novel. I couldn’t even imagine how long it’ll take me to write an actual novel.

I’ve had the love to write since I can remember. I didn’t start to get serious until my mid-twenties. Though I’ve had many distractions, I’ve never given up. At times we, ourselves, can be our toughest critics. My friend Jeff could attest to this, as I would tell him how I didn’t think something I’ve written was great at all. He would tell me otherwise. Though I would say this, I would still never give up. What happened was that I had lost my passion for writing; all I had to do was find it again. I did.

I continued to use that passion and my love for writing and wrote a children’s book this past summer; which I turned into a publishing company. It’s currently going through illustrations right now. I enjoy receiving emails from someone at that company telling me what process is next and what all they will do. I still get giddy each time someone emails me; like I did the first time my manuscript was accepted for publication.

Next semester I’ll be taking Creative Writing and English Comp 2 in hopes to better my writing skills and to also bring out my creativeness. Sometimes I can get the ideas to flow and sometimes, well, it’s like they’re stuck in my brain somewhere…if that makes sense. But when I can get it to flow, it flows; sometimes never ending and I love that.